Since the pandemic began, researchers have been using poop to test for COVID-19 outbreaks in Colorado.

The questions remain: is this testing useful and...where is our poop going?

According to The Colorado Sun, scientists have found success in "poop testing," properly known as "wastewater surveillance." They're conducting this surveillance on over 65% of Colorado's residents, whose stool ends up in the (not literal) hands of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), Metropolitan State University, Colorado State University, and GT Molecular.

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While water surveillance isn't the ultimate COVID-19 detector, it does allow researchers to identify the virus up to three days earlier than a typical test or individual recognizes symptoms.

"Wastewater data can help public health officials understand the true increases and decreases in cases," Jade Fulce, a public affairs specialist at the CDC, told the publication. "Several communities have implemented wastewater surveillance in areas where clinical testing was limited and used this data to make decisions about mobile testing and vaccination sites."

Unfortunately, the publication reports that households not connected to public plumbing and out-of-state visitors skew wastewater surveillance data. Still, the method has been largely successful at detecting COVID-19 — and, the CDC believes it will soon be a staple of the public health system.

Kudos to Number Two.

The NoCo Virus Tracker articles are made possible by our partners, the Keep NoCo Open campaign that reminds citizens to wear a mask, wash your hands, physically distance and support local as Northern Colorado recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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